CONROE — Longtime Texas insurance figure E. Lyle Ashley, CIC, CIW, died on Jan. 24, 2014, surrounded by his family.
The memorial service was held at First Presbyterian Church of Conroe on Feb. 1, with a full house of fellow congregants, members of the Masonic Lodge, and plenty of insurance industry stalwarts, including Glen and Carol Hargis of this publication. It was tough saying good bye to our friend of nearly 40 years. Lyle Ashley was a ray of sunshine and the sort of customer every business hopes to gain.
A Houston native, Ashley joined the U.S. Navy following high school graduation in 1962. During the Vietnam War, he received the Vietnam Service Medal and two bronze star medals.
After military service, Ashley returned to Houston and began his insurance career. In 1966, he joined W.T. Cooper Agency as a producer. He formed Ashley Insurance Agency in 1970 and sold it in 1980, at which time he devoted full time to Surplus Inc. which he founded in 1975. From 1980 until 2004, Ashley was president of Surplus Inc. He sold the agency to Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs but stayed on as president until 2008. In 2010, Ashley formed Ashley General Agency.
Ashley served as a director of the Independent Agents of Houston and on numerous committees of the American Association of Managing General Agents and Texas Surplus Lines Association.
As a young man, Ashley was active in the Order of DeMolay. He was a member of San Jacinto Masonic Lodge #106, AF & AM, a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of The York Rite bodies, Knights Templar, and Arabia Shrine Center.
Ashley served as an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Conroe, Texas, volunteered with youth groups of the church, and was a friend of Faith Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, Texas. He truly loved being a volunteer driver at Shriners Hospital in Houston.
Ashley enjoyed spending time with his family, as well as Saturday golf with his usual foursome.
Ashley family members include his wife of 49 years, Janet Campbell McGavin Ashley; daughters Billie Gorrell and Heather Nelson, and son Jack Ashley, their spouses and children, a brother, sister, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family asked that memorial contributions be made to First Presbyterian Church, Conroe; Shriners Hospital in Houston; or the charity of choice.